Novak Djokovic smashed one racket and threw another into the stands on the way to losing his bronze medal match at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday.

Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta beat the world number one 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 to finish third in men's singles.

The shock result followed a day on from Djokovic's hopes of a Golden Slam being crushed by defeat to Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals.

In the wake of his singles third-place match setback, Djokovic also pulled out of the mixed doubles bronze match, citing a left shoulder injury.

Having already clinched the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon titles, Djokovic was eyeing gold at the Games before heading to the US Open in August, aiming to land the five biggest prizes in tennis in the same season.

That has never been achieved in a calendar year by a man, and Djokovic could not even manage a consolation prize from his singles mission in Japan. How serious his injury is now remains to be seen.

After levelling the singles match by taking the second-set tie-break, Djokovic boiled over in the first game of the decider, firstly when flinging his racket several rows back from the middle of the court after Carreno Busta put away a volley at the net.

Djokovic picked another racket from his bag but petulantly demolished that against a net post after dropping the third game to slide 3-0 behind, receiving a warning from the umpire for that violent outburst.

His anger may have been explained by injury or by his disappointment on Friday, when, as well as losing to Zverev, Djokovic and Serbian team-mate Nina Stojanovic were beaten in the semi-finals of the mixed doubles.

Djokovic would have had one final shot at a medal from his Tokyo trip to come later on Saturday, with the 34-year-old and Stojanovic due to face Ash Barty and John Peers in another match for bronze.

However, shortly after his singles exit, it was announced that Djokovic had pulled out of that match, handing Barty and Peers the medal.

Amid the anger and frustration exhibited on court by Djokovic, it was a banner day for Carreno Busta, as Spain celebrated another tennis medal, having won at least one in eight of the last nine Olympics.

The 30-year-old fell to the court in joy at the end of the two hours and 47 minutes it took him to defeat the world number one, his elation a sharp contrast to the emotions of his beaten opponent.

Katie Ledecky is eyeing up the 2024 Paris Olympics and the 2028 Games in Los Angeles after claiming her seventh gold medal with victory in the women's 800 metres freestyle on Saturday.

Ledecky, who holds the world record over the distance, fended off rival Ariarne Titmus for her latest swimming triumph, backing up success in the 1,500m.

The 24-year-old American was clear of Titmus throughout the race and held off the Australian's familiar late push to win in eight minutes and 12.57 seconds. Italy's Simona Quadarella claimed bronze.

Ledecky's victory takes her Olympic medal tally to 10, including the gold haul, and she is targeting more.

“I'm still young, 24 is not that old," Ledecky said. "People are sticking around in this sport into their 30s. I still love this sport, I love it more and more every year. I feel I'm going to give every ounce I have to this sport.

“I love the training, I love the day-to-day. I'm just going to keep doing it until I feel like it's time. Obviously the Olympics in 2028 are in LA so that's kind of out there and appealing also."

USA's Michael Phelps holds the record for most Olympic gold medals with 23, with the next most going to gymnast Larisa Latynina, distance runner Paavo Nurmi, swim great Mark Spitz and athlete Carl Lewis who all claimed nine golds, which Ledecky could plausibly match or eclipse.

Ledecky has already become the first US female swimmer to win three consecutive golds in the same event.

Caeleb Dressel revealed he was not feeling 100 per cent despite breaking his own world record to win the men's 100m butterfly gold medal from Kristof Milak.

American Dressel triumphed in 49.45 seconds, bettering his own mark of 49.50 from July 2019 in Gwangju, to beat Milak, with Switzerland's Noe Ponti taking bronze.

"It was well executed, my body wasn't as good as it could have been, it was the body I was given on this day, I felt better yesterday," Dressel said. "It hurt really bad but it was fine. I knew what my race plan was and stuck to it, got the job done. What a close race. Two of the fastest times in history.

"You don't get that very often so to be a part of that is very special. The event is only going to get faster. I'm aware of that and it's just exciting that it took a world record to win."

Milak also remarked after the race that the pair would push and inspire each other on to future world records.

Australian Kaylee McKeown backed up her 100m backstroke gold with victory in the 200m, ahead of Canada's Kylie Masse and compatriot Emily Seebohm.

Great Britain, powered by Adam Peaty, won the mixed 4x100m medley relay, ahead of China and Australia.

BROWNLEE TRIUMPH AS GB MAKE HISTORY

Great Britain made history by claiming the first-ever gold medal in the mixed triathlon, with victory by 14 seconds ahead of the USA.

Jonny Brownlee, who won individual bronze in 2012 and silver in 2016, opened up a good lead for the British in the second leg which they did not relinquish.

Jessica Learmonth had started off for Team GB, before Brownlee's leg, with Georgia Taylor-Brown and Alex Yee finishing it off.

"Olympics? Completed it," Brownlee said. "It feels absolutely amazing. It's my third Olympics and I've finally got gold."

Great Britain finished in 1:23:41, with France claiming bronze behind the US team.

PERFECT GROUP PHASE FOR HOCKEYROOS

Australia's Hockeyroos completed a perfect group phase after final-quarter goals from Savannah Fitzpatrick and Emily Chalker sealed a 2-0 win over Argentina.

The victory means Australia have topped Pool B with five wins from five games and will play the fourth-ranked nation from Pool A, either Great Britain, India or Ireland.

The Australia hockey team are three-time Olympic gold medallists but have not won a medal since Sydney 2000 and endured tumult in the lead-up to Tokyo 2020 with a change of coach.

China were eliminated despite beating New Zealand 3-2, while Japan also bowed out after a 4-1 loss to Spain, who finish second in Pool B.

Germany and the Netherlands meet on Saturday evening to determine top place from Pool A ahead of the quarter-finals on Monday.

SAN MARINO'S MEDAL RUSH

Tiny European nation San Marino claimed a second-ever Olympic medal, only 48 hours after grabbing their first.

Alessandra Perilli, who won bronze on Thursday in the women's trap shooting, teamed up with Gian Marco Berti to claim silver in the mixed team trap, beaten 41-40 by Spain in the final.

San Marino, which has a population of 33,600, is the least populous country to win an Olympic medal, having competed at the Games since 1960.

USA beat Slovakia 42-42 (3-2) in the bronze medal final.

Tokyo 2020 chiefs have banished an Olympic Village resident from the Games after they broke strict rules by going sightseeing.

The individual has had their accreditation withdrawn, said Tokyo Olympic organising committee spokesperson Masa Takaya.

Takaya did not identify the person concerned and would not comment on whether they were a competitor.

It is the first case of a resident of the Olympic Village being thrown out for such a breach of the Games 'playbook', which includes restrictions on movement due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Takaya told a media briefing on Saturday: "To leave the Olympic Village for sightseeing, that should not be tolerated and therefore accreditation was removed

"I can't give you any more than that. That decision was made yesterday."

Asked whether the person was an athlete, he added: "I can't tell you. It is a person related to the Games.

"As long as the accreditation is deprived, this person cannot enter into any Tokyo 2020 relevant venues."

Regarding whether any others were involved, Takaya said: "In terms of the number of people, I can't disclose that number."

He said more detail may be provided by Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto on Sunday, when he attends the daily Games briefing.

 

Takaya also said there had been a breach at a hotel housing athletes that are in isolation due to COVID-19 protocols, with two people said to have left.

"According to the facility manager – in this case it's a hotel – I have to say the communication was not adequate. When the hotel faced the people who insisted on leaving, the hotel wanted to retain them, trying to convince them of not leaving, but they have forcefully left the facility," Takaya said. 

That news came in the wake of Germany's athletes' body Athleten Deutschland criticising quarantine conditions.

The German organisation complained of "insufficient supply in basic areas", including fresh air.

"The food supply is neither rich nor balanced, nor does it meet the sometimes specific nutritional requirements of top athletes," Athleten Deutschland added.

"Athletes who have resumed training activities in the room have to wash sweaty clothes in the sink, which hardly dry afterwards.

"You feel left alone and have to obtain a lot of information yourself. It is unclear to you what the exact sequence of the quarantine is and what steps have to be taken after it has ended."

United States BMX racer Connor Fields has been moved out of intensive care following the crash that ended his Tokyo 2020 medal hopes and caused a brain haemorrhage.

The 28-year-old, who won gold at the Rio Olympics, came off his bike in Friday's semi-finals, taking a heavy fall as two other riders hit the deck with him –  Twan van Gendt of the Netherlands and Sylvain Andre of France.

Fields was carried off the course on a stretcher and taken to hospital by ambulance, with mother Lisa Fields stating he had sustained a "head injury with brain bleed possibly needing surgery to relieve".

That was confirmed by USA Cycling, who said doctors advised that Fields had suffered a brain haemorrhage.

The news appeared more positive on Saturday as his mother waited to learn more about the USA star, saying she had been told he did not currently need to undergo surgery.

She wrote on Facebook: "Connor still constantly sleeping but is cogent and communicative when awakened.

"Latest CT scan shows no additional brain injury and no additional bleeding so he has been transferred from ICU critical care to high level care and does not require surgery at this time.

"Brain function evaluation is ongoing and I will continue to update as I know more and after I get to speak with him."

USA Cycling stated: "The doctors reported that Fields sustained a brain haemorrhage at the venue. After a night in the ICU, the doctors are pleased to report that there has been no additional bleeding, and no new injuries were found. Fields has been moved out of the critical care unit and will remain in the hospital until cleared."

In the absence of Fields for the final, Netherlands rider Niek Kimmann won the gold medal.

The emerging rivalry between Caeleb Dressel and Kristof Milak can inspire the pair to more world records after the American broke his previous mark to win the men's 100m butterfly gold medal.

Dressel won the final in 49.45 ahead of Hungarian Milak by 0.23 seconds, with the American breaking his previous world record of 49.5 set in Gwangju in July 2019.

The American had already won the men's 100m freestyle on Thursday, before Saturday's gold medal.

Milak, who won the 200m butterfly in an Olympic record time on Wednesday and holds the world record for that event, said Dressel pushed him to get better, eyeing off a time under 49 seconds.

"It is very good for us that we can inspire each other," Milak said. "The result will be many world records and personal bests, and better times, maybe under 49 seconds.

"I’ve no personal relationship with him - we didn’t have the chance to get to know each other. But as a competitor, he’s a tough guy, very competitive."

First-time Olympian Milak, 21, said it was the beginning of a long rivalry with 24-year-old Dressel, who went to Rio in 2016, where he won gold in the 4x100m freestyle relay but not in any individual events.

“This is the beginning," the Hungarian said. "We all know our place in the Games, in the competition. Everyone wants to win, we have to respect each other."

Switzerland's Noe Ponti claimed the bronze medal, with a time of 50.74 and gushed in praise of Dressel and Milak.

“Before these Olympics, the goal was to get into semifinals," Ponti said. "Behind Kristof, who I know pretty well, and Caeleb, it’s very inspiring.

"It means me and the other guys, the other guys behind me, we have a lot of work to do to catch them.

"That’s what motivates us a lot. It was a crazy race, very fast, for them too and for myself."

Caeleb Dressel stormed a world-record time in the men's 100 metres butterfly to win a third gold of Tokyo 2020, while Katie Ledecky earned a measure of revenge on Ariarne Titmus in Saturday's action at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

It has been some week for Dressel, though he later missed out on a fourth gold in the mixed 4x100m medley final.

There was more success for Kaylee McKeown and Australia in the 200m backstroke, while Adam Peaty was a gold medal winner again.

THREE UP AND A WR AS DRESSEL WINS THRILLER

He had to do it the hard way but Dressel scooped a third gold of the games and broke his own world record in the men's 100m butterfly after a thriller with Kristof Milak.

Dressel exploded off the block and had a healthy lead but Milak roared back down the home 50m to give his rival a scare.

But the American found an extra gear in the final few strokes to post a 49.45. He now has seven of the best 100m butterfly times in history, while five of the sub-50 second times in the event have come in 2021.

 

LEDECKY TREBLES UP, SCORES TITMUS REVENGE

Ledecky's prowess in the 800m free came to the fore again as she exacted revenge on Australian rival Ariarne Titmus.

American great Ledecky was pipped by Titmus – who also took out the 200m – in an astonishing 400m race earlier this week.

But for the third straight Games Ledecky is the 800m champion, stealing a march in the opening 50m and, though Titmus stayed close throughout, came home in 8:12.79 - the 17th-fastest swim of all-time.

Ledecky is just the third woman after Australian Dawn Fraser (100 free, 1956-64) and Hungarian Krisztina Egerszegi (200 back, 1988-96) to win three consecutive golds in the same swimming event.

MCKEOWN DOUBLES UP

Kaylee McKeown made it a backstroke double by taking out the women's 200m race having won the 100m earlier in the meet.

The Australian had to do things the hard way to reel back in Canada's Kylie Masse who was eight tenths clear of McKeown after 100m.

But McKeown charged down the final stretch doing the final 50m in 31.08 to touch home in 2:04.68, becoming the first Australian woman to gold medal in the event.

PEATY STRIKES GOLD AGAIN AS GB ROMP TO MEDLEY GLORY

Earlier this week, Adam Peaty defended his title in the men's 100m breaststroke in convincing style and he won his second gold of the Games as Great Britain smashed the world word in the in the 4x100 mixed medley.

Peaty, now a three-time Olympic gold medallist, swam an astonishing 56.78 leg, as he, Kathleen Dawson, James Guy and Anna Hopkin topped the podium.

Dressel was part of a Team USA quartet who were fifth.

Blessing Okagbare is out of the women's 100 metre competition at Tokyo 2020 after being provisionally suspended for a failed drugs test.

The Nigerian sprinter came through Friday's heats in a time of 11.05 seconds and was due to go up against Dina Asher-Smith and Elaine Thompson-Herah in the semi-finals on Saturday.

However, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) informed Okagbare she had tested positive for a human growth hormone following an out-of-competition test on July 19.

The AIU added that a provisional suspension is mandatory for an adverse analytical finding for such a substance under the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules.

It said no further comment would be made at this stage.

Okagbare was competing in her fourth Games and won a silver medal in the long jump at Beijing in 2008.

She was a strong medal hope and her provisional suspension follows the news 10 Nigerian athletes were declared ineligible for Tokyo 2020 due to non-compliance with out-of-competition drug testing requirements in the run-up to the Games.

Simone Biles has pulled out of two further events at Tokyo 2020, USA Gymnastics has confirmed.

The American superstar was involved in just one rotation of Tuesday's women's team final, in which she registered the lowest score, before sitting out the rest of the event.

It was later confirmed she would also not defend the individual all-around title she won at Rio 2016 in order to focus on her mental health.

On Saturday, USA Gymnastics confirmed Biles – a four-time gold medallist at Rio – will now not take her place in the finals of the vault and uneven bars, with further decisions to be taken on her participation in the floor and balance beam finals.

A statement from the governing body read: "After further consultation with medical staff, Simone Biles has decided to withdraw from the event finals for vault and the uneven bars. She will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether to compete in the finals for floor exercise and balance beam.

"We remain in awe of Simone, who continues to handle this situation with courage and grace, and all of the athletes who have stepped up during these unexpected circumstances."

Earlier this week, Biles took to Instagram to explain how her body and mind are "simply not in sync" and attempted to describe the different aspects that go into performing at the highest level when dealing with a mental block.

"For anyone saying I quit, I didn't quit, my mind and body are simply not in sync as you can see here," Biles wrote on her story. "I don't think you realise how dangerous this is on a hard/competition surface. Nor do I have to explain why I put health first. Physical health is mental health.

"It's honestly petrifying trying to do a skill but not having your mind [and] body in sync.

"Literally cannot tell up from down. It's the craziest feeling ever, not having an inch of control over your body."

USA Gymnastics said MyKayla Skinner, who had the fourth highest score in qualification, will compete in the vault finals alongside Jade Carey.

World number one Novak Djokovic is desperate to rebound after his men's singles semi-final defeat, targeting "at least one medal" for Serbia with two bronze medal matches on Saturday.

Djokovic, chasing an elusive Golden Grand Slam, went down in three sets to German fourth seed Alexander Zverev on Friday in the men's singles.

The Serbian will instead face Pablo Carreno Busta in the men's singles bronze medal match on Saturday, while he has another medal hope in the mixed doubles.

Djokovic has partnered with Nina Stojanovic and will face Australian duo Ashleigh Barty and John Peers in the bronze medal match also on Saturday.

“I feel terrible right now in every sense but tomorrow hopefully a fresh start I can recover and win at least one medal for my country,” Djokovic said.

After losing to Zverev 1-6 6-3 6-1, Djokovic's tough day was compounded with defeat alongside Stojanovic in the mixed doubles' semi-finals to the Russian Olympic Committee's Elena Vesnina and Aslan Karatsev 7-6 (7-4) 7-5.

“Tough day, a really tough day," Djokovic said. "I feel so terrible right now. I was leading by a set then a break and [Zverev] managed to turn the match around.

"He served huge, was attacking, and I was not getting any free points on my first serves.

“I've got to give him credit for turning the match around. He served extremely well. I mean I was not getting too many looks on the second serve.

"My serve just drastically dropped. I didn’t get any free points from 3-2 up in the second. My game fell apart.

“To play someone of his quality, of his level, it's just too tough to win a match [like that]. It’s just sport. He played better.”

China bounced clear of Japan at the top of the medal table at the Tokyo Olympics thanks in part to a gold medal in trampolining.

Xueying Zhu edged out compatriot Lingling Liu to win the women’s final, maintaining the country's dominance in the event. Only at the Sydney Games in 2000 has China ever failed to have a competitor make it onto the podium.

There was also an all-China final in table tennis, Ma Long defeating compatriot Fan Zhendong in the men's singles final.

Add in further success in the mixed doubles final in badminton and China now has 19 golds at these Games, two more than the host nation.

The United States sit third in the standings with 14 golds, while Great Britain remain in sixth place thanks to Beth Schriever riding away with a gold in the women’s BMX final.

New Zealand improved on their previous solitary gold with not one but two victories in the water on Friday. Emma Twigg's win in the women's single sculls final was followed by glory for the men's eight. The women's team in the same discipline claimed silver, finishing second to Canada.

Ethiopia celebrated a first medal of any colour on Japanese soil, Selemon Barega triumphant in the men's 10,000 metres final as the athletics began, a fast finish seeing him cross the line ahead of Ugandan duo Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo.

 

Selemon Barega took the first athletics gold of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on a day when Novak Djokovic saw his Golden Slam hopes ended.

Barega topped the podium for Ethiopia as he saw off competition from Ugandan duo Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo on Friday.

The 21-year-old ran a smart race and had the stronger finish in him to see off pre-race favourite Cheptegei, who took silver ahead of compatriot Kiplimo.

"It means a lot to me because I have been practising a lot, not only by myself but together with the Ethiopian people," said Barega, who quickly sets his sights on future success.

"As an athlete the primary target for us is to participate in the Olympics, be a champion, and also be able to break the record.

"So I'm really thinking about future opportunities for me to achieve that, and if possible I'm also communicating with my manager about that."

There was no such joy for Djokovic as his bid to become the first man to win a calendar Golden Slam was crushed by a semi-final defeat to Alexander Zverev.

Djokovic was a set and a break up but the Serbian contrived to lose eight games in a row en route to a 1-6 6-3 6-1 loss.

Germany's Zverev had sympathy for his beaten opponent, who he declared as the greatest of all time.

He said: "I know that he was chasing history, chasing the Golden Slam and chasing the Olympics, but in these kind of moments me and Novak are very close. Of course I'm happy that I've won, but at the end of the day I know how Novak feels.

"I feel sorry for Novak, but he's won 20 grand slams, 550 Masters Series or whatever, you can't have everything.

"He's the greatest player of all time, he will win the most grand slams out of anybody on tour, but I'm also happy that I'm in the final."

Defeat in the mixed doubles means the 20-time grand slam champion will face two bronze medal matches in Japan.

 

MIXED RELAY WOES FOR USA

The 4x400 metre relay mixed event made its debut in the Olympics on Friday but it did not go well for the favourites as the United States suffered disqualification.

One of the team's baton exchanges was deemed to have taken place outside the designated zone, ending their campaign and leaving the gold medal up for grabs.

Poland qualified fastest with a time of three minutes 10.44 seconds, with the Netherlands close behind and Jamaica also in the mix.

 

SCHAUFFELE LEADS THE WAY IN RAIN-AFFECTED MEN'S GOLF

Xander Schauffele fired a 63 to move top of the leaderboard at Tokyo 2020, while home favourite Hideki Matsuyama and Rory McIlroy made big moves on Friday.

The threat of serious weather caused another delay on day two, and eventually brought an early end to play with Matsuyama among those not to finish his round.

But Schauffele, who has a big following in Japan as his mother was brought up in the country, sat pretty at 11 under as the stellar names bared their teeth at Kasumigaseki Country Club.

Matsuyama was six under through 16 holes of his second round and eight under overall for the tournament.

McIlroy matched Matsuyama's round-one score but shot five under in round two and is well in the mix four shots back.

 

A LONG TIME COMING

Ma Long took gold in the table tennis as he became the first man to win consecutive Olympics titles in the event.

It was an all-Chinese final and Ma roared to victory against Fan Zhendong.

China also secured a one-two in the badminton mixed doubles.

 

IGLESIAS CAN BE CUBA'S HERO

Cuban welterweight fighter Roniel Iglesias earned a third Olympic medal after sinking American Delante Johnson with a sweep of the scorecards.

After a bronze in Beijing and gold at London in 2012, Iglesias savoured another chance to target the top step of the podium.

The 32-year-old said: "It is my third medal which is very important but what I really want is to win the gold medal. It is a historic moment for me and for my country, Cuba. I am very happy at this achievement."

Light heavyweight Ben Whittaker admitted he was a blubbering mess after securing at least a bronze medal for Great Britain. He set up a semi-final against Imam Khataev – representing the Russian Olympic Committee – after scoring a majority points win over Brazilian Keno Machado.

Whittaker was overwhelmed by the result and burst into tears at the realisation he would be taking home a medal.

"That was the hard part, getting that medal," Whittaker said. "I won't relax, but I've pushed through that first door now and all I have to do is start changing that colour. Bronze is a lovely colour but everyone wants gold."

 

DRAMA APLENTY IN WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

The quarter-finals of the women's football competition delivered on drama in a big way.

Penalty shoot-outs were needed for Canada and the United States to progress to a last-four showdown, with Brazil and the Netherlands their respective victims.

Australia won a seven-goal thriller 4-3 against Great Britain after extra time and will now meet Sweden, who knocked out hosts Japan 3-1.

A'Ja Wilson led the way for the United States as they saw off host nation Japan 86-69 at the Tokyo Olympics, while China and Belgium booked their places in the quarter-finals.

Team USA are six-time defending champions, though they were made to work by their opponents in Saitama before their height proved decisive.

Now on a 51-game winning streak at the Olympics, Team USA top Group B on four points from their two games so far at the Games.

Wilson was the top scorer with 20 points, while she also contributed 10 rebounds and three assists. Support arrived from Breanna Stewart (15 points) and Brittney Griner (15 points).

It was by no means a comfortable victory, however, having edged out Nigeria 81-72 in their first match.

"Just communication. One, we're getting used to the ball. And then two, just working on making sure we're just all in for each other and understanding the personnel a little bit better," explained guard Jewell Loyd when asked how the team were looking to improve as the tournament goes on.

"Taking a breath. We've played a little fast in other games so just trying to get a rhythm for us, take it slow and play our basketball."

Only Wilson scored more points than Japan's Maki Takada, but the hosts were simply physically outmatched.

"[Team USA] are really superstars," said Evelyn Mawuli. "They know how to play and they're tall and we're small, so we have to run faster than them. So that was a bit difficult, but it was fun."

CHINA SNATCH LATE WIN TO SEAL QUARTER-FINAL SPOT

China and Belgium are sure of their places in the last eight.

That is because of a last-gasp win for China against Australia, avoiding overtime in dramatic fashion to clinch a 76-74 triumph in Group C.

China, who were led by 20-point Wang Siyu, were 11 ahead at one stage in the final quarter, but that deficit was cut down by a resurgent Australia.

However, with 0.6 seconds left, Li Yueru was fouled under the basket. She made both free throws to seal victory and progression into the quarters.

In the process, Belgium's progress was also secured. They beat Puerto Rico 87-52 in the first of Friday's matches.

GARNIER PROUD OF FRANCE REACTION

Elsewhere, France bounced back from an opening defeat to Japan with an 87-62 victory over Nigeria in Group B.

Five players made into double figures for points for the French team, with Sandrine Gruda topping the charts with 14, adding nine rebounds and three assists.

"It was necessary after the defeat against Japan to have a good reaction. I am proud of my team because they did and they all played very hard defence," France coach Valerie Garnier said.

"This is necessary against Nigeria because they fight a lot. After we did this very good job, we tried to make the biggest gap possible, so 25 points was a good result for us."

There were no excuses for Nigeria coach Otis Hughley Jr, who said: "We just got beaten really bad. Offensively we were flat and we couldn't score. You can't play that way against the number five team in the world."

The United States and Canada will do battle in the semi-finals of the women's football tournament at Tokyo 2020 after edging into the final four.

USA - winners of the Olympic tournament four times previously - managed to beat the Netherlands 4-2 on penalties in their quarter-final after the game finished 2-2 at the end of extra time.

Having finished with fewer than six points in the group stage of a major event for the first time in their history, the USA knew a much-improved display was needed against a Dutch side who scored 21 times in their opening three games, the most of any women's side at a single Olympics.

They duly delivered a strong display as they twice took the lead only for Vivianne Miedema to continue her sensational form, scoring twice to cancel out goals from Samantha Mewis and Lynn Williams in an engrossing contest in Yokohama.

Megan Rapinoe swept the decisive penalty kick high into the net after Alyssa Naeher had made two stops to her right.


BRAZIL FALL SHORT AGAIN

Canada await USA after they inflicted further heartbreak on Brazil, whose wait for gold in this event goes on.

Beaten semi-finalists in Rio five years ago, Brazil were held to a 0-0 draw before suffering another defeat on penalties to the 2016 bronze medallists.

Goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe, who was injured in the closing stages of extra time, recovered to make two critical saves in the shoot-out to secure a 4-3 win.

"In the moment, it was about trusting myself, trusting my instincts, and trusting my ability to make a save," she said afterwards.

"Pain is temporary. We have our eyes on the prize."

 

WHITE TREBLE NOT ENOUGH AS MATILDAS WIN CLASSIC

The stand-out quarter-final took place between Australia and Great Britain, a seven-goal thriller eventually ending in a 4-3 victory for the Matildas.

Two goals from Ellen White had turned the game on its head and looked to be enough to send Hege Riise's side through, but Chelsea star Sam Kerr levelled in the 89th minute with a crisp low strike.

The contest then swung Australia's way in a dramatic minute in extra time, Mary Fowler's deflected shot finding the top corner after Caroline Weir had a penalty saved at the other end.

Kerr scored another before White completed her hat-trick with a deft header to set up a frantic finale, with Australia just holding on for a famous win.

Remarkably, they overperformed in terms of expected goals by 3.2, their highest such figure at these finals.

Australia will contest their semi-final against Sweden, who ended Japan's quest for a medal on home soil with a 3-1 victory.

Mina Tanaka cancelled out Magdalena Eriksson's sixth-minute opener, but Sweden took control in the second half through further goals from Stina Blackstenius and Kosovare Asllani.

 

Proud boxing star Ben Whittaker admitted he was a blubbering mess after securing at least a bronze medal for Great Britain at the Tokyo Olympics.

The Wolverhampton-based light heavyweight set up a Sunday semi-final against Russian Olympic Committee's Imam Khataev after scoring a majority points win over Brazilian Keno Machado.

Whittaker was overwhelmed by the result and burst into tears at the realisation he would be taking home a medal.

"That was the hard part, getting that medal," Whittaker said. "I won't relax, but I've pushed through that first door now and all I have to do is start changing that colour. Bronze is a lovely colour but everyone wants gold."

His verdict until beating Machado was that anything less than gold would amount to "nothing", but when the reality that he would be on the podium struck, Whittaker let his emotions spill out.

"I was crying, bogies were flying everywhere. I was trying to keep as calm as I could but I couldn't help it," Whittaker said. "I've just got to compose myself now as Sunday is when it gets real.”

He said his father, a council worker, would usually be at work at 5am but was given permission to stay at home to watch the 24-year-old Olympian in action.

"He hasn't slept all night and he has been giving me tactics, trying to keep me calm but I know my dad when he is nervous. His nervousness was making me a bit nervous," Whittaker said.

"My mum was probably trying to talk to him and he was probably telling her to shut up and whatnot. But bless him, I've done it for him, not just me."

Khataev had a third-round knockout win over Spain's Gazi Jalidov to earn a shot at Whittaker next.

The other light heavy semi-final will see Azerbaijan's Loren Berto Alfonso Dominguez tackle Cuban Arlen Lopez after both enjoyed unanimous judges' verdicts.


CUBAN STAR TAKES DOWN JOHNSON

Cuban welterweight fighter Roniel Iglesias earned a third Olympic medal after sinking American Delante Johnson with a sweep of the scorecards.

After a bronze in Beijing and gold at London in 2012, Iglesias savoured another chance to target the top step of the podium.

The 32-year-old said: "It is my third medal which is very important but what I really want is to win the gold medal. It is a historic moment for me and for my country, Cuba. I am very happy at this achievement."

Russian Andrei Zamkovoi awaits him next, with Great Britain's Pat McCormack tackling Ireland's Aidan Walsh on the opposite side of the draw.


FIRE FUELS JONES GOLD DREAM

American Oshae Jones saw off Dominican Maria Moronta on points in their women's welterweight last-eight clash, and afterwards the 23-year-old from Ohio opened up on the fire that nearly took her life in May.

Jones was woken by banging on the door of her Toledo home as a blaze took hold of her home. Now a guaranteed medallist, she recalled: "We barely got out. We've got pretty noisy neighbours, thank god. Any other neighbourhood, where people mind their business, I would be dead.

"The home is coming together again, slowly but surely. I had to get a whole new roof and inside drywall, wiring. It's a lot, but I keep pushing every day. My boyfriend and I had purchased it. It was a fixer-up and we were almost done. Now we've had to start over.

"It's always in the back of my mind when I am at camp: what I am going to go home to, is the house going to be done? All I can do is give my best here.

"I’ve thought about winning a medal and had a vision of me standing on the podium. I practise my gold-medal speech every day, so I plan on winning."


'FIST THROUGH HIS FACE'

New Zealander David Nyika secured a heavyweight medal by beating Belarusian Uladzislau Smiahlikau emphatically on points, and 2019 World Championship winner Muslim Gadzhimagomedov stands in his way of a place in the final.

If Nyika gets his way, Gadzhimagomedov will not be standing for long when they battle it out on Tuesday.

"Yeah, 'Gadz' is top class. I have nothing but respect for him as he has accomplished so much. But I'm going to try and put my fist through his face," said Nyika.

The 25-year-old Nyika was a flagbearer for his country at the Olympic opening ceremony and is feeling the weight of expectation to deliver.

"Getting bronze doesn't take the pressure off, I'm still under a lot of pressure. The rest of New Zealand is shouting for me but I know I've got a lot more to do," he said.

"I've got a lot to prove, not only to them but to myself. I've been working so hard and mentally I've been through some pretty rugged stuff over the last 18 months and I'm pretty sure I'm going to come out of it on the other side a lot bigger and a lot stronger.

"I'll have proved to myself that I'm worthy of everyone’s respect and the honour that my team has given me."

The opposite heavyweight semi-final will see Brazilian Abner Teixeira tackle Cuban Julio Cruz.

Ethiopia's Selemon Barega secured gold in the men's 10,000 metres final as the athletics got underway at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday.

Barega surged clear of Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo, who were each denied a first Olympic gold for Uganda, as he clocked 27 minutes 43.22 seconds in the Japanese capital.

Cheptegei, the 2019 world champion, was highly fancied to win, while compatriot Kiplimo would have become the youngest man to be crowned champion at the distance at the age of 20 years and 258 days.

But Barega, himself only 21, claimed the honour of the maiden athletics gold at this year's event after timing his kick for the line to perfection.

USA SUFFER MIXED RELAY DQ

It was a disappointing outing for the United States' mixed 4x400m relay team as the favourites were disqualified.

The event is making its debut in the Olympics but the landmark will not be fondly remembered by USA's foursome after one of their baton exchanges was deemed to have taken place outside the designated zone.

That has left the gold medal well and truly up for grabs, with Belgium, Ireland and Germany the automatic qualifiers from heat one, while in heat two it was Poland, Netherlands and Jamaica.

Great Britain and Spain round off the final eight, having gained the two next best times.

 

HASSAN SETS THE STANDARD

Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan laid down a marker in the heats for the 5,000m.

The first heat was much quicker than the second, with Hassan's 14:47.89 leading the way.

She is chasing a first Olympic medal and will face stiff competition from the likes of Kenya's Hellen Obiri.

Obiri won silver in Rio and qualified second fastest in the second heat with a time of 14:55.77.

 

HAVING A FIELD DAY

In two of the field events to begin on Friday, women's world number one triple jumper Yulimar Rojas recorded the longest leap of the heats at 14.77m.

The Venezuelan, a two-time world champion, had to settle for silver in Rio behind Colombia's Caterina Ibarguen, who will be eyeing a repeat in Tokyo.

Ibarguen's qualifying jump was a season's best 14.37m.

China led the way in the women's shot put, Gong Lijiao staking her claim with a throw of 19.46m, putting her ahead of compatriot Song Jiayun (19.23).

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.